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Full text of "Linguistic Survey Of India Vol Ii Mon Khmer Siamese Chinese Families"

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Til GROUP.
Ian<we.   But we can take the closely allied Shan, which is still spoken, to furnish
0      O
an example,
In Shaii1 a word may be uttered with the lips partially closed, and is then said to
have a closed tone; or it may be uttered with the lips wide open, when it is said to have
an open tone.
Moreover, each of these may be varied in five different ways, viz.:—
1.  The first tone is the natural pitch of the voice, with a slight rising inflexion at
the end.   It is called the natural tone.
2.  The second tone is a deep bass tone.   It is called the grave tone,
3.  The third tone is an even one; in pitch, between the first and second tones.  It is
called the straightforward tone.
4 The fourth tone is of a more elevated pitch than the first tone, and is called the
high tone.
5. The fifth tone is abrupt and explosive.   It is called the emphatic tone.
As an example let us take the Shan word fchcti.
Spoken with a closed natural tone, it means' fat.'
„              ğ       grave    „         „      'egg'
„              „       straightforward tone, it means'desire/'narrate.'
5,              „       high tone, it means' filth.5
„              „       emphatic tone, it means (mottled/
„         an open natural      „         „      'sell.'
„              „      high           „         ,       * morass5
„              „      emphatic    „         „      'remove.'
Here we see that the word Jchai is spoken with eight different tones, each with a
different meaning.
Another good example is the Shan word kau.
Spoken with a closed natural tone, it means' I', the pronoun.
„              ğ       grave    „         „    'bo old'
ğ              ğ       straightforward tone, it means 'nine,' also 'a lock of hair.1
ğ              >i       high tone, it means' be indifferent to evil results by a spirit/
s,              „       emphatic tone, it means' an on I/
„         an open natural       „      „   ' a hutea tree/
ğ>              ğ       grave        „      „   'complain of                               [ankle/
iğ             ğj       straightforward tone, it means 'the leg from the knee to the
ğ              ği       high tone, it means * the common balsam plant'
sğ              ğ       emphatic tone, it means' a kind of mill.'
Here Jtau has at least ten different meanings according to its tone.
We may take one more example of tones from another Indo-Chinese language, the
Annamitic. It is quoted from Vol. II, p. 31 of the late Professor Max Midler's lecturet
on ihe Science of Language. Sa ba ta ba is said to mean, if properly pronounced, • three
ladies gave a box on the ear to the favourite of the piinee/ Ha with no tone means
1 three/ with a grave tone means' a lady/ with a high tone means' a box on the ear/ and
with a sharp tone means < the favourite of a prince.1 Economy of vocabulary could hardly
go further.
1 Tbw rcOTnt of the tones u condensed from Dr, Cushmg's SbSn Dwtionwy.